Monday, April 30, 2007

Portuguese Fever

Well, Jeff is finishing up his Portuguese class next Monday, but it seems that our whole house has caught the fever. We discovered a neat little Brazilian market, where they have a Portuguese storytime we are thinking about taking part in. We also bought a children's video in Portuguese that is somewhat like Seasame Street, and we are hoping it will be on a level that we can all understand. I am also thinking of signing up for the Portuguese I class this summer and Jeff is thinking about retaking the Portuguese II class. We also found out about an after-school Portuguese class for Ruth for the Fall. As you can see there is a lot of "thinking about" here and no commitments as yet, but it seems that we may all be learning to express ourselves in another language soon. Todo bom!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

We're Back

We're back. We're refreshed. And our weekend was wonderful. We drove around Toronto in a little car that was slightly too big to be a roller skate for Jeff. But it was easily worth the six dollars a day we paid for it. We stayed up until midnight talking and laughing and being encouraged by good friends. We had brunch at a place called The Muddy Duck, where they had the most amazing orange juice machine and the teeniest juice glasses we'd ever seen, so we filled hundreds of them. And we didn't call our kids once, figuring (correctly) that they were having too much fun to talk to us and that if there was something serious that we needed to know about Alan and Bekki would call us. Mimi and Grandpa apparently didn't share the same philosophy, as they called twice during the weekend "just to see how things were going" and to offer their assistance (from Las Vegas) if Alan and Bekki needed anything. Fortunately for everyone, no assistance was needed from the parents or the grandparents. And the kids, as well as the Aunt and Uncle, had a really great weekend. They got to ride horses and pick dewberries, which they made into a cobbler and a pie. And, of course, they got to play with all the fun pets at Alan and Bekki's house. And Uncle Alan got to have his first diaper experiences, which may very well keep him from ever having children of his own. But despite this, I think this first babysitting experience went well for them, and I think they enjoyed it. (And maybe they will be willing to do it again for us sometime). I hope you all had a great weekends as well.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Life Looks Better When You've Got A Plane Ticket In Your Pocket

The last couple of weeks have been really crazy. Really. But today, I just felt an extra little spring in my step, and I think it's because Jeff and I are off to Toronto for the weekend and the kids are staying with Uncle Alan and Aunt Bekki. Yippee!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Can't Belive My Luck

Generally speaking, my luck runs along these lines: If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. But today must have truly been my lucky day. It was naptime and I was making my way home from the grocery store. About two blocks from my house, there is a three-way stop (where I had a run-in with the law a couple of years ago). As I approahed that intersection today, I noticed right away that there were two motorcycle cops on one corner and a police car parked on another. The cops were all out on the sidwalk talking to several children, and I immediately assumed that there had been some accident--maybe a child had been struck by a car on his bike or something. When I reached the stop sign, one of the cops waved me through, so away I went, thinking they must be closing down the road for some reason. A glance in my rearview mirror told me that I had mistaken the cop's gesture, and that he was actually trying to get me to pull over. "Oh," I thought, "they must be questioning people in the neighborhood." So, I pulled over, and immediately started apologizing to the officer for misinterpreting his hand signal. He was good-natured about it, and then explained that he was just in the area trying to enforce the speed limit. This was a lightbulb moment for me, because it was the first time it occured to me that he was pulling me over because I was breaking the law. This didn't bode well for me at all, since I just had a speeding ticket three months ago. But the cop was very friendly (and Weston was whining, ready for his nap), and so he just gave me a warning. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I seriously couldn't believe my luck. I definitely think it's time for me to become a little less lead-footed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Today's Inspiration

--Martina McBride

You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
And when I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway, I do it anyway

This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart, for all the right reasons,
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love ‘em anyway

Repeat Chorus

You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in
That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway, sing it anyway

I sing, I dream, I love, anyway

Monday, April 23, 2007

Peonies Are Pretty

And they smell good, too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Robin Hood

This afternoon we went over to the children's theatre to see Robin Hood, and it was really an exellent performace. This was our third show to see there and they have all been fabulous. Ruth had her picture taken with Maid Marion after the show, and when we got home she immediately got into costume and "became" Maid Marion herself. It was definitely a "happily ever after" day for us.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Oh What A Beautiful Day

We had an excellent day. We had a picnic at the Aboretum, amongst the cows. We had naps. And then we had dinner at Central Market, where they were having a salsa dance contest. And the weather was absolutely perfect.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Insurance Rep Resorts To Dramatic Scare Tactics

Blood-curdling screams were heard today in the Indian Oaks neighborhood, when it was presumed that a young girl and her brother were being massacred in the backyard. Upon further inspection, both were found to be alive, but still in great distress. Though they were not actually dealt a death blow, the young girl claims to have been brutally attacked by the suspect pictured above. He apparently grabbed her arm and began "poking [her] with his little feet." And, upon hearing her screams, her brother came to her defense by initiating his own scream. Apparently, their tactic worked, because the suspect rushed off in a blur, and both parents of the children came running. Both children are recovering at home tonight and seem to be doing fine. The suspect has not been found for questioning, and some believe the screaming may actually have caused him to have a heart attack on the spot. If you do see him, though, please report it immediately. If the screaming is any indication, he is a very dangerous criminal indeed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Heart Of The Giver

"The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious." --Martin Luther

My daughter has a giving heart and it is absolutely beautiful. It is rare that we play with friends or go visit family members or have people in our home or even meet people for the first time, that Ruth doesn't think of a gift to give. She makes things or finds things in her room (even things that may have been her favorite yesterday) to give away. It's the most amazingly sweet thing I've ever seen. Tonight we had plans to celebrate my mom's birthday, and all day Ruth was obsessed with finding just one more gift. She insited that we absolutely had to take Nana some flowers and so I let her cut some from one of my only blooming plants and put them in a vase. She also made a beautiful "seascape" in a jar with sand from her sanbox and shells she has collected. And she made a wonderful card, writing most of the words without any help from me at all and drawing these perfect little picutres all over it. I'm so proud of her for this giving spirit that she possess, and I can only hope to attain a portion of that quality in my own heart.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Once a year, Ben and Jerry's gives away free ice cream, and today was that day! And if there's anything better than ice cream, it is definitely free ice cream. And this year Weston got to participate. (He's feeling much better today, by the way). It's astounding to me that you can give a kid the most microscopic bite of chocolate and he can end up literally covered from head-to-toe with the stuff. Amazing. Really. And what's even better is that he was already covered pretty much from head-to-toe with pizza sauce, since we had pizza next door before getting our free scoops. I really should have taken a picutre. But, trust me, it was beautiful. And thanks to him, we all got to wear a little bit home, making free ice cream night last just that much longer.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sick And Tired

Weston didn't sleep well last night and woke up this morning around 7:30 with a 103+ fever. He ate almost no breakfast and was very clearly not happy. We dropped Ruth off at gymnastics at 9:00, and when we got home he went straight to bed. He slept and slept and slept, and I finally had to wake him up at 1:45 so we could go pick Ruth up from gymnastics. He ate almost no lunch and again made it clear that he was one unhappy little man. When we got home, he went straight to bed and slept until about 4:45. I bet you can guess what happened next. More crying and very little eating followed by sleeping, which is where we are now, except for the occassional burst of crying coming through the monitor. I think he is finally trying to get his molars in, and it's just making him miserable. I feel terrible for him, and the only thing I seem to be able to do that makes at least a little difference is to give him tylenol every now and then, and hold him when he's really upset. It's very, very sad.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Let's Get This Party Started

Most of you know it's never too early (or too late) to get birthday festivities underway in the Watts house. We're all about birthdays! And since Ruth's is coming up next month, we decided we better get started on the planning for the myriad of parties she's going to have. She picked her theme and menu, and made her guest list today. And we even went to the party store and picked out some of the necessities (at 50% off, thank you very much)! It's going to be a "cowgirl" theme this year, though cowboys will be attending as well, and I think it's going to be lots of fun. (Have I ever mentioned before that I love parties)?!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shameless Sales Pitch

I had a Pampered Chef party this morning, and even though earlier in the week I was discouraged because I knew not many people would be able to make it, it turned out very nice. Thanks to those who attended. For those of you who couldn't come or for those of you who are just interested in fun kitchen products, you can check out the online catalog. I'm closing out my show on Tuesday, so if there's something you want, you can get it there by putting my name in as host. You can also sign up to host a show, if you want to have a party of your own. I love parties and I love kitchen gadgets, and maybe you do too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

And The Green Grass Grows All Around

Due to incredibly bad experiences with our last two hired lawn guys and a long-ago broken mower of our own, our yard has turned into something of a jungle. But this week we bought ourselves a new mower, and today I reintroduced our lawn to to concept of a "haircut." Mowing is actually one of my favorite chores. I love being out in the fresh air. I love the smell of the fresh-cut grass. And I especially love how neat it looks when it's all done. (And I'm sure my neighbors feel even more strongly about that last one that I do)!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Standing On The Edge Of Your Life

Do you remember the feeling you had when you were about a month away from graduating from high school? That I-can-do-anything, nothing's-too-hard-for-me, I-will-change-the-world-and-the-sooner-the-better attitude? I admit I hadn't really thought about it too much until recently. But, we have a cousin on each side of the family graduating in May, and I've been reminded of that amazing feeling. What a special time--standing there on the edge of your life, where the possibilities are truly endless. My cousin, Cody, will be entering the Marines upon his graduation, and I'm so proud of him. And Jeff's third cousin, (though we just count her as "cousin") Anna, will be going to American University in Washington D.C. where she will study International Business and will work as a tranlator. It's so very exciting...and inspiring! There's no reason we shouldn't always keep that same excitement in our hearts and that same can-do attitude. There is no mountain that can't be moved..."So, be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!" (From Ruth's and my favorite book: Oh! The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Have A Dream

More of a fantasy, really. And in it I live in a gorgeous house, where a photo-shoot for Southern Living has just taken place. There are no toys scattered about, no stains on the carpets, no knee-high grass to be cut or doors with broken locks--just to name a few things that are missing. There aren't even any screaming babies. Everything is in order and immaculate. And there are fresh flowers on almost every surface, including the nightstand beside my bed and the counter in the bathroom that no one ever uses. And sometimes I get so caught up in this fantasy that I actually start to believe that such a place exists, and I find myself searching aimlessly on the internet for it. And then I'm always a bit disappointed that it wasn't there. And if it was, it definitely wasn't in my price range! And then * poof* the dream is gone and I'm back where I am, which really is great. You just can't get something this lived in in "immaculate." But still, it doesn't hurt to dream...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

What Did You Learn Today?

Most days, either over dinner or just before bed, one of us will ask the group what we learned today. Ruth asked the question at dinner tonight. Here are the answers:

Daddy: Was on his way out the door to go to Portuguese class where he hoped to learn a lot.

Mommy: I learned that if you put a load of towels in the dryer but never actually turn the dryer on, the towels will become dry, but not in the soft, fluffy towel sense.

Ruth: Perfected the "donkey kick" at gymnastics and learned that Jeffrey, from her class, had the same thing as her for lunch (a burrito), but his came in a fancy Lunchable package.

Weston: Didn't have much to say, but did learn what a cow says today.

What did you learn today?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

We're Out Of Here

We're off to visit my grandparents in Haskell for the weekend, where the Weather Channel is currently predicting SNOW for Sunday and "WINTRY MIX" for Saturday. It's April. It's Easter. It's Texas, for crying out loud. Snow is supposed to be a distant memory by now. To say nothing of the cute little Easter dresses we all have to wear on Sunday, which are not the least bit suited for this kind of weather! But despite how it sounds, we are very happy to be going. We are really looking forward to spending time with our family, winter weather or not. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday, and I'll check in with you on Sunday or Monday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Shake, Rattle And Roll

Jeff's grandfather (Pawpaw) was apparently quite the singer/songwriter back in the day. He passed away a few years ago, and Jeff, suspecting that no one was using it, recently asked if he could have his old guitar. My in-laws brought it over today, and we are absolutely thrilled to have it. It's in great shape, and inside the case we found some old songs Pawpaw had been working on, written down in his own handwriting and a chord book published in 1919. Such a treasure, for sure! What we didn't know was that we would also be getting a surprising bonus. When Jeff first lifted the guitar out of the case, there was an awful rattling on the inside. Upon further inspection, he found the cause of the rattling to be...what? Any guesses? No, I'm sorry, you're all wrong. What we found inside were rattlesnake rattles--38 of them to be exact, some of them very large! We aren't quite sure why Pawpaw decided to keep them in the guitar, but guessing on that has kept us entertained all evening. I didn't know Pawpaw all that well, but he was clearly a unique man. Seriously, though, it's so neat to have such a family treasure--surprises and all.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Big K, little k. What Begins With K?

Kindergarden, krying, K, K, K. (Work with me here, o.k.)!

Today was RRISD's Kindergarden Round-up, where they invite incoming Kindergardeners to the school to register for the upcoming school year. So this morning, with much enthusiasm, we entered Ruth's elementary school for the first time. We filled out the forms and found out some useful information and then got back in our van to come home. And for some reason that I can't quite explain, I noticed some moisture forming around the corners of my eyes. I know it couldn't have been tears, because I have always sworn that I would never be one of those moms--you know, the ones who cry on the first day of school and [gasp] on the registration day for the first day of school. Now don't get me wrong, I'm so excited for Ruth to go to school, and I just think it's going to be so wonderful. But I will admit that I did feel a twinge of sadness as we pulled out of the parking lot today. I just can't believe my little girl is growing up so quickly. And I think I'm going to miss her, cheesy as it sounds.

Tonight, when I was tucking her into bed, I was telling her how proud I was of her and how excited I was that we had signed her up for Kindergarden today, and she said to me: "Yeah. It's funny because it seems like I'm still a little girl, but I'm not really." And that pretty much sums it up. I want to watch her fly, and I want to give her the freedom she needs to do just that, but I have to say that just the thought of letting her go is harder than I ever thought it would be.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Lost In Translation

We watched "Lost In Translation" tonight, and I have to say it was definitely lost on me. I think it was one of the most boring, most pointless movies I've ever seen. I just didn't get it. We had both heard it was good, but we both give it a big thumbs down! So, my recommendation is don't see it if you haven't, and erase it from your memory if you have.

Monday, April 02, 2007

More Fun From The Weekend

There was more to our weekend than just pictures in the bluebonnets. We played in the water, tried on silly hats, walked Grandpa's dog, did a little fishing, made Mr. Taco bowls and ate olives off our fingers. Fun, fun times.